On the wild and rugged east coast of Barbados, the isolated beaches are the colour of sunrise, the red sands having blown all the way across the Atlantic from the Sahara. The eastern most island of the Windwards, and indeed, of the entire Caribbean, reaches out to Africa and the Old World, as if not quite part of the New. Bridgetown, Barbados is an interesting town full of contrasts. George Washington actually slept here! Trafalgar Square reminds you that the laid back, rum-and-fun-loving island’s British-influenced heritage includes revered traditions like cricket and high tea.
15 Nights at sea
Lisbon, the dazzling city that stretches along the banks of the Tagus, is an enchanting capital. There is the fortress around which the city originally sprang up, and which is now circled by neighborhoods drenched with medieval charm. Everywhere are fine monuments that bring to mind the great Age of Discoveries, and picturesque houses whose facades are decked with ornate ceramic tiles. As the dusk turns to night, the yellow electric tramcars continue to wind their way up and down the hills of the old capital, while the sound of traditional Fado folk songs enlivens many a candle-lit dinner table in restaurant or home. But the capital also provides ample opportunity for seeing popular celebrations, for shopping, and for enjoying the nightlife along the riverbanks. With the port and marinas situated nearby, water sports are a natural attraction too.
One of Europe’s smallest capital cities, Lisbon is for many, one of it most beguiling – an easily accessible mix of new and old worlds. Elegant outdoor cafés line Lisbon’s mosaic cobblestone sidewalks along grand 18th-century boulevards. Turn-of-the-century funiculars dot its steep hills. Two-thirds of the city was leveled in a 1755 earthquake, but in its churches, peeling buildings, tiny alleyways, hidden squares, you can still feel the glorious past.